Queens District Attorney charges poker pro Jay Sharon with illegal bookmaking

jay-sharon-arrest-sports-bettingA New York prosecutor has indicted pro poker player Jay ‘Ghost’ Sharon and seven others in connection with an illegal online sports betting ring.

On Tuesday, Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown announced the indictments of Sharon (pictured) and the other seven individuals accused of enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy.

All eight defendants are currently in custody in New York and Las Vegas and are awaiting arraignment. If convicted, Sharon and the other defendants ace up to 25 years in prison.

QDA Brown says he began investigating the ring back in December 2014 in tandem with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division. The ring is said to have handled an annual $3.5m in wagers via online gambling sites and toll-free phone numbers.

Sharon reportedly served as “the bookmaker who controlled and oversaw the entire operation.” Johnathan Cianciotto and Joshua Handler have been fingered as Sharon’s master agents, while Emilio Testa, Christopher Hansen and Frank Nista served as agents, and Vincent Zaccario and Gary Schreiber served as sub-agents.

The NYPD seized $93k in cash, gambling records and other tools of the trade following raids on 10 locations in Queens and Nassau counties.

Sharon’s most recent live poker triumph came in January 2015 when he claimed nearly $37k for winning the $300 NLHE $100k GTD at the World Poker Tour’s 2015 Winter Poker Open at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Prior to that, Sharon won the $500 Parx Big Stax in October 2014, earning nearly $86k. Hope he saved some of that scratch because his legal bills are going to be steep.

QDA Brown has been an active thorn in the side of illegal betting operators, having led the charge that brought down the ‘Jersey Boys’ betting ring in 2012, which killed the legit career of former Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Mike Colbert. More recently, Brown indicted 17 individuals connected with an illegal credit betting operation linked to 365action.com.